Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
When properly used, a combination of hot and cold therapies can offer relief for up to 5 days. This therapy is particularly beneficial for muscle injuries and overuse injuries. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. This helps to increase the flow of blood to the injured area. It can also assist with chronic joint pain. The great thing about both therapies is that they can be combined!
Cold therapy is more efficient than heat therapy in the reduction of inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy reduces swelling and increases blood flow. The warmth therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. Heating therapy is especially efficient in pain management due to its soothing effects on joints. What treatment should you choose to ease your pain? Here are some helpful suggestions. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s take a look at how heat and cold therapy interact.
Ice therapy can be extremely effective at decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also creates an numbing effect, which reduces messages to the brain that signal pain. Effective cold therapy methods include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Follow the same guidelines as heat therapy and limit exposure to cold. You should not leave the application of ice on your skin for more than 20 minutes as it could result in burning or hives.
While cold therapy may reduce swelling, there are some limitations. Patients suffering from chronic injuries should avoid this method. Cold therapy is not recommended for open injuries and should not be considered for those with circulatory or neuropathy conditions. Additionally, those who suffer from infections should consult their physician prior to applying this treatment. Cold therapy can be applied to the affected areas only in the early stages of the pain.
In general, doctors suggest applying ice first to decrease swelling, then applying heat to relieve discomfort. Heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles before you can start your workout. Cold therapy on the other hand can slow blood flow and reduces swelling and pain. Cover the area affected with towels to provide the best relief. For best results, cold therapy should be applied for at minimum 15-20 minutes several times a day.
Depending on the type of injury, cold or hot therapy is most effective for reducing pain. It is usually the best treatment for pain that is acute, like a muscle strain, and cold therapy is advised for pain that is persistent, like a long-standing joint pain. However, there isn’t a definitive and absolute rule of thumb for which is more efficient. Cold therapy is beneficial for most people suffering from joint pain.
Cryotherapy or cold therapy is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It reduces tissue damage by preventing nerve activity. It numbs muscles and decreases nerve activity. It also reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing nerve activity. However it isn’t appropriate for everyone especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is best for those suffering from a severe pain from an injury.
Inflammation is reduced
The use of cold therapy can be utilized to treat various health conditions. It reduces inflammation by reducing the blood vessels of muscles, which decreases the flow of blood. Also, cold therapy reduces pain signal transmission by your brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Like heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. Exposure to cold for too long can result in ice burns as well as hives.
Although both cold and heat therapy have advantages however, they have distinct adverse effects. Injuries that are severe are more likely to be treated using cold therapy due to the diminished blood flow. Heat therapy helps increase blood flow and reduces swelling and inflammation by improving circulation. It can also have an emotional calming effect making it a suitable option for pain management that is ongoing. However cold therapy isn’t as efficient for long-term pain control.